DENVER – On the firing line all night, goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere hung in long enough to make the difference at the end.
Giguere had 31 saves and turned away a shot by Matt Read in a shootout, making Ryan O’Reilly’s shootout goal standup in Colorado’s 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. Colorado remained undefeated in six shootouts this season.
“It is a huge two points for our hockey club,” Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog said after the Avalanche won their sixth in a row at home. “We worked really hard for this one. Even though we gave up the late one, we kept going.”
No one worked harder than Giguere, who weathered a heavy offensive thrust by the Flyers in the first period of the game, when he made several critical saves.
“Our start wasn’t good enough, we have to learn from that,” Giguere said. “We knew that they were going to come out hard and play well. I don’t know why we didn’t match their intensity. We can’t do that, eventually its going to catch up to us.
“Once we got our legs going, it seemed like we had lots of energy.”
The Flyers, who fell to 0-2 in shootouts, tied it in the final minute of regulation with their goalie pulled, on Wayne Simmonds’ 10th goal of the season. He punched the puck in from up close amid heavy traffic in front of the net.
“I think that is a great thing for a team—to never quit,” Philadelphia defenceman Marc-Andre Bourdon said. “Guys were focused. I think we lost too many battles and that is why we lost.”
The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead with the help of a deflection, two actually. Rookie Brad Malone’s pass in the offensive zone glanced off the skate of Philadelphia’s Tom Sestito before ricocheting off T.J. Galiardi’s skate and trickling into the net past Ilya Bryzgalov.
The goal initially was credited to Malone—it would have been the first of his career—before being awarded to Galiardi after officials had a chance to review the play.
Landeskog was in the penalty box with a double minor for high-sticking when the Flyers scored the game’s first goal, but came back to even the score with his sixth goal of the season at 12:26 of the second.
Shane O’Brien fired a pass from the point to the slot, where Landeskog got his stick on the puck for a backhand shot that got past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Landeskog was battling Kimmo Timonen for the puck along the boards when his stick flew up and struck the side of Timonen’s head, drawing the double minor. The Flyers were on the first leg of the power play at 18:30 of the first when Jakub Voracek sent a pass across the slot to Scott Hartnell, who put the puck in an open net past Giguere.
NOTES: Colorado LW Cody McLeod played in his 300th career NHL game. … Erik Johnson, who also assisted on Landeskog’s goal, has a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists). … Hartnell’s goal was his 16th of the season. … The Flyers are missing Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, all out with concussions. … Philadelphia has gone 0-5 in Denver since winning 2-1 in overtime on Dec. 27, 2002. … The Avs are 8-1 against the Eastern Conference this season.